Olango Island

MangoAfter years of travelling to typical "tourist places", or as "back packer" in Asia, will most people who come to Olango Island, experience that this is the first place they have been where they really learn to know the culture, and the way of living, in places like this. There are no hotels on the island yet, but a few beach resorts.

The island consists of several small villages and have approximately 25 000 inhabitants. They get most of their income from fishing and local craftsmanship. They also harvest sponges and starfishes for industrial purposes. In addition they sell trinkets, dried starfishes and shell to tourists that visit Olango Island and other islands nearby. Moneywise they often have nothing to spare, but as most Philippinos they take the things as they come and visitors are always welcome to visit them. Most of the inhabitants live in simple cottages made of nipa palm, bamboo and corrugated steel plates on the roof, a building tradition in the Philippines .

The roads are quite good and practically free of cars. The most common vehicle are trycycles, which are able to take up to five passengers. The tricycle is basically the Philippine rickshaw: a little, roofed sidecar bolted to a motorbike. Tricycles are found in their various forms nearly everywhere and are useful - essential even - for short trips. For example a trip from Santa Rosa to Sagastrand Beach (3km) cots P120 (a bit less than 3$) for up to 5 passengers. The most common private vehicles are mopeds and motorcycles.

You can also take a walk or ride a bicycle in the nice nature. In Santa Rosa you will find both stores and a restaurant. Here is also a small marked with fish, fresh fruit and vegetables. On the north side of the island, several fish restaurants are located. Here you can choose between several types of fresh fish and other sea food for dinner. The fish are alive when you choose.

Bird Sanctuary

On the south west side of the island, approximately 1 km away from Sagastrand Beach Resort, you will find Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary, a famous Eco-Tourism Destination. The area is a national park and is visited by tourists all year. A lot of birds stop for a rest on their way from Australia and New Zealand, and all the way up to the north of Siberia and back again. The sanctuary has obtained several international prices in ecotourism.


Several fiestas are arranged in the villages on the island. Some big fiesta in the neightbourhood takes place in February and in May, and lasts for several days. Everyone is welcome to participate. In addidtion to the fiestas, street discos are arranged every now and then. To participate on these is usually very popular by our guests. Normal age on these street discos is from 2 to 80.

Fish Sanctuary

It takes only a few minutes with boat to arrive at the nearest marine sanctuary. Her you can swim and snorkel and let the fishes eat from your hand. You can now actually also walk to the fish sanctuary on a boardwalk, a few hundred meters long. Walking distance from Sagastrand to the boardwalk is less than 10 min.


There are several diving centres and organizers of dive trips. In Lonely Planets diving books, several of the highest ranked dive sites are located nearby. Olango Island is a coral island and the coral reefs outside are among the most visited in the world. It is not a typhoon or tsunami and thus it is a diving area through the whole year.

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